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Medicare Coverage of Chiropractic Treatment

By Caring.com Staff

What It Is

Chiropractic treatment

What's Covered

Medicare Part B covers only limited chiropractic services. Medicare Part B can cover chiropractic manipulation of the spine (no other parts of the body), and only to correct a spinal subluxation (bones of the spine not in proper position). The treatment must be performed by a chiropractor or other qualified provider who's Medicare certified.

If you have a Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage plan: Some Medicare Part C plans, also called Medicare Advantage plans, provide broader coverage for chiropractic than traditional Medicare Part B does. To find out whether your plan provides extra coverage for chiropractic, contact the plan directly.

What Medicare Pays

Medicare Part B pays 80 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for covered chiropractic care.

Warning: Because Medicare Part B coverage of chiropractic treatment is so limited, it's best to ask the chiropractor to get prior approval from Medicare before beginning treatment.

If you have a Medicare Part C Medicare Advantage plan: Co-payments for chiropractic may be different under your Medicare Part C plan than under Medicare Part B. Contact your plan directly to find out.

Important: Regardless of the rules regarding any particular type of care, in order for Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, or a Medicare Part C plan to provide coverage, the care must meet two basic requirements:

  • The care must be "medically necessary." This means that it must be ordered or prescribed by a licensed physician or other authorized medical provider, and that Medicare (or a Medicare Part C plan) agrees that the care is necessary and proper. For help getting your care covered, see FAQ: How Can I Increase the Odds That Medicare Will Cover My Medical Service?

  • The care must be performed or delivered by a healthcare provider who participates in Medicare.